Understanding & Screening for Domestic Violence
Written by Lesley Coghill, LMSW and Suzanne Katerberg, BA, AAB

Are you looking for ways to enhance your team’s ability to recognize and respond to domestic violence? One of the most common training requests we receive is to help equip individual organizations with the skills to screen for domestic violence and respond to survivors in helpful ways. Resilience designed this recurring webinar to provide regular opportunities for service providers to become trained to better understand domestic violence, recognize lethality indicators, and support survivors.

In 2021, Resilience conducted a community assessment of the domestic violence training needs of Ottawa and Allegan County service providers.

  • 77% of these organizations promote services to help domestic violence victims. (50 of 65)
  • 57% of these organizations assess for domestic violence. (37 of 65)
  • 26% use a risk assessment when screening for domestic violence. (17 of 65)
  • 29% have been trained to assess for high risk or danger in domestic violence. (19 of 65)
  • 14% feel their organization has received sufficient training to assess for high-risk domestic violence. (14 of 65)

Lethality in domestic violence can escalate, especially when a victim attempts to leave the relationship. The abuser may intensify their tactics of control and use threats, stalking or other forms of abuse, which can lead to increased danger and risk of harm for the victim.  

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
  • An abuser’s access to firearms increases the risk of homicide by 1,000%.

Learn more and be prepared to help survivors navigate their options when they are faced with lethality concerns. Register for our Domestic Violence webinars: https://resiliencemi.org/training/. All webinars include social work continuing education.



Spencer, C. M. & Stith, S. M. (2020). Risk factors for male perpetration and female victimization of intimate partner homicide: A meta-analysis. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 21(3), 527-540. doi: 10.1177/1524838018781101

Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M. (2011). The national intimate partner and sexual violence survey: 2010 summary report. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf.